chapter  6
23 Pages

Twitter as the People’s Microphone: Emergence of Authorities during Protest Tweeting

ByALEXANDER HALAVAIS, MARIA GARRIDO

The elections in Iran in 2009, and the protests that followed, have been called the “Twitter Revolution.” The phrase is ambiguous: Was the revolution in Iran, or in the way the technology of protest affects public perceptions? In public protests that have followed, microblogging-publicly disseminating short messages on the Internet-has continued to be employed by protesters and by the public observing protests. The use of Twitter during the London G20 protests, the Iranian elections, and other protests made 2009 a turning point for Twitter as a political tool. 1 Whereas there are a wide range of ways in which individuals tweet, 2 a set of protest-oriented tweeting styles emerged out of these events: tweets that called protesters to action, kept them coordinated and informed during protests, and established what was important about the events: what they meant.